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Pojo's Friday News Page
March 4th - 2005

For Immediate Release
WizKids Releases Pirates of the Crimson Coast

WizKids Inc., makers of the popular Mage Knight™, HeroClix® and MechWarrior® collectable miniatures games (CMGs), is proud to announce the release of Pirates of the Crimson Coast™, a standalone expansion for the Pirates of the Spanish Main™ constructible strategy game™ (CSG).

“Pirates of the Crimson Coast introduces several exciting new game play elements,” said Jordan Weisman, WizKids® CEO. “A new faction – the French – has joined the race for treasure, and new schooner ships make for faster battles on the open seas.” Additionally, forts protect players’ plunder, and three new kinds of terrain can replace islands, with treacherous consequences for the unprepared sailor.

Pirates of the Crimson Coast can be played as a standalone game or as an expansion for Pirates of the Spanish Main, the best-selling CSG. Each Game Pack (MSRP $3.99) contains everything one person needs to play a basic game, including a ship, crew, complete rules of play, a terrain feature/island and a die. Additional Packs will expand a player’s collection. Parrots and monkeys not included.

For Immediate Release

Soon a new game will hit the streets‹or rather, the tabletops‹of hobby game players around the world. But although the game is new, there is nothing new about the names behind it. Peter D. Adkison, former CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., and current president of Gen Con, LLC, is pleased to announce the formation of a new company, Hidden City Games, whose first entry into the collectable games industry, Clout Fantasy, will be unveiled this summer.

³I am very excited not only about starting up a new game company but that we are going to be launching an entertaining game that I know gamers and those new to collectable gaming will enjoy,² said Peter D. Adkison, CEO of Hidden City Games. ³When Clout Fantasy was first demonstrated to me, I knew within five minutes that it was a game worth bringing to the market. It has all the elements that make not just a good game but an excellent game, one that challenges the mind but at the same time is a whole lot of fun to play.²

Clout Fantasy will be the first collectable game played with poker-type chips instead of cards. Clout Fantasy introduces another new concept to collectable gaming as well‹manual dexterity as a central element of game play. Players must merge strategy and tactics with physical skill to score points and edge out their opponents. The overall theme of the game is fantasy.

Clout Fantasy will include starter sets for beginners, prebuilt sets for each suit, and boosters for growing collections. The game has been designed and planned to be totally expandable and to facilitate many ³generations² of the game. Clout Fantasy will be presented to gaming industry retailers by Hidden City Games¹ North American publishing partner, Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG), at this year¹s GAMA Trade Show, Mar 14­17, in Las Vegas.

New Samsung headset wants to rough you up

Forget the kinder, gentler approch to vibrotactilism — this phone wants to smack you around! The in-development Samsung headset (available end of March) enables you to rough up your friends via SMS by sending tickles and slaps along with your text messages. Using a technology called haptics — the creation of texture and touch via artificial stimuli — these devices work much the way your PS2 or Xbox controller gives force-feedback when it vibrates based on the physical context of the game. It’s also a hopped up version of the vibrate setting on your cellphone. What we want to know is, can we set an alarm to auto-trigger this feature and get a rude awakening every morning? FullStory

Atari's Dragon Ball Z®: Sagas™ Goes Gold

BEVERLY, MA – MARCH, XX, 2005 – Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) today announced that development is complete on Dragon Ball Z®: SagasTM, the first Dragon Ball Z® action game for console systems, which will be available March 22 for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo GameCubeTM, and the XboxTM video game system from Microsoft. FullStory

Game Review: Shaman King: Power of Spirit

Normally I’m not a really big fan of strategy games, but Shaman King takes a different approach to the genre. Instead of the action being totally turn-based the game incorporates two styles of play into a unique experience. FullStory

Yu-Gi-Oh! and Shaman King Unedited Releases On Feb 22
anounced on 2005-02-10

New Volumes Of Collector’s Editions Of YU-GI-OH! And SHAMAN KING On February 22, 2005

4Kids Entertainment Home Video, Inc., the home video unit of 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE), in association with FUNimation, will release the third volume of the special DVD collector’ s editions of YU-GI-OH! and SHAMAN KING on February 22, 2005. Never before available in the U.S. and Canada, the discs will contain the original, unedited Japanese animation and Japanese dialogue with English subtitles, as well as optional English language tracks. FullStory

GBA: Shaman King: Legacy of the Spirits Sprinting Wolf Version

Every so often a type of game is popular enough that the market will support a hoard of lesser quality clones. Grand Theft Auto continues to spawn imitators on the consoles just as Pokemon is the king of copycats in the realm of handhelds. Since Pikachu's introduction there has been a continuous supply of games boasting tournaments, collection quests, and the "gotta catch'em all" style of gameplay. Shaman King is the latest Pokemon clone to hit the shelves but in this version you acquire souls instead of monsters. Don't worry, it still features a young male protagonist, creatures that evolve and combine, and of course, it's very own cartoon series. Expect action figures, trading cards, and a breakfast cereal to follow. FullStory

Metal Gear Acid PSP

At first glance, one would surely assume that by making a new Metal Gear game on a new portable gaming platform into a card battle game, Konami has slipped off the diving board and into the deep end of the crazy pool. I’m glad to report that this speculation is not as true as we all thought it was a few months ago.

Metal Gear Acid (or Ac!d, depending on your keyboard prowess) is indeed a card battle game, but not in the boring or brain-threatening sense as Yu-Gi-Oh (another Konami series) or, say, that Pokémon card game; MG:A is very much the stealth action game you were expecting, but it utilizes the growingly-familiar card routine to structure the gameplay into snack-size doses rather than giving you full control over the legendary Solid Snake. FullStory

The Pokémon Learning Company aims to Improve Children's Computer and Communication Skills

The Pokémon Company and NEC have announced a new company, "The Pokemon Learning Company" for the development of an educational service for computers using Pokémon characters.

Capitalizing on Pokemon's popularity and charm, while using NEC programs such as Biglobe, The Pokémon Learning Company aims to help children improve their computer skills and media communication abilities. The program will be offered via the Internet. FullStory

NASA & Pokemon Trading Card Game Explain Science

NASA and the Pokemon Trading Card Game
have developed an in-school program. The program incorporates science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) themes into learning activities for K-6 students nationwide.
The collaboration coincides with the recent release of the Pokemon Trading Card Game called EX Deoxys. Deoxys is a space virus with extraordinary origins. It came from space and mutated into a Pokemon when exposed to a laser beam. Deoxys' name is derived from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the genetic material of living organisms, including viruses. The STEM learning activities were developed based on the game.
The collaboration will provide NASA a unique opportunity to teach children about real world science. FullStory

Nintendo President Talks Revolution
Says third party support may not be in the cards.

\March 4, 2005 - In a recent interview with overseas trade publication MCV, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata talked about the company's forthcoming home console, codenamed Revolution. Iwata reiterated that the platform would be fundamentally different from other game systems, and said that its unique make-up could potentially alienate third party publishers, or in contrast draw them in. FullStory

Nintendo Breeding Electroplankton for DS

Nintendo's new game is barely a game.

GameSpot is reporting that Tokyo retailers are getting the buzz on Nintendo's latest DS title. It's called "Electroplankton" and has quite an out there concept.

The game, which will be released April 7 for a price of 4,800 Yen ($45), is a hardly a game at all. Electroplankton is more accurately described as a digital jukebox. Created by Japanese multimedia artist Toshio Iwai, the "game" shows soothing graphics on the Nintendo DS' dual screens, and plays music to accompany the visual display. There are ten different "digital planktons" in the game that react to the player touching the screen and speaking into the microphone. These plankton will respond to players with their own movements and noises. Electroplankton will also record noises picked up by the microphone and mix them back into the music. Also, an "audience mode" has the game create it's own original music.  FullStory

Nintendo letting the dogs out this spring

Virtual pet game loses its leash on April 21; game simulates raising a puppy without the chewed up slippers and stained carpets.

Nintendo announced today that it will release Nintendogs for the DS in Japan on April 21. The game will be priced at 4,800 yen ($46). In America, Nintendogs is set to be released under the working title of Puppy Times.

Nintendogs is a virtual pet game where gamers play around with one of 15 different dog breeds. The DS will use its unique functions in the game. Owners can play with their pooches using the DS's touch-screen pad, call out their puppy's name by yelling into the microphone, or even issue commands such as "sit" and "stay" by barking at the handheld. The game features more than 150 items that can be used to entertain cybercanines. FullStory

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